Most of us at one time or another dream of quitting our jobs and opening our own businesses. After all, who wouldn’t love to be their own boss, right? Unfortunately, the entrepreneurial life isn’t for everyone, and experts estimate that somewhere between 50% to 80% of new businesses fail within ten years. That low success rate scares off most would-be entrepreneurs. Still, millions of brave souls attempt the feat anyway.
So, what happens to them when their dreams fail? Many go back to more traditional jobs in the workforce, of course. But that return can be a struggle in many instances. Here are some resume tips for small business owners returning to the workplace.
The Challenge is Real
Make no mistake; for small business owners returning to the workplace, many difficult challenges await. It can be difficult to properly frame business ownership within a resume, and some employers are skeptical about hiring entrepreneurs for non-executive positions. These and other challenges can complicate the job search process.
That’s why the business owner resume is so critical to any job search. If your resume is not properly crafted, your odds of getting an interview are dramatically reduced. That’s true regardless of whether you’re creating a construction business owner resume or any other entrepreneurial resume. For while being self-employed has its advantages, it can be problematic for your resume. Just consider:
- How do employers verify the accuracy of your skill claims?
- Can you verify that you managed your own business? Have you maintained accurate records and tax filings that will stand up to a background check?
- How do you convince the employer that you’re even open to taking direction from the company?
- Will the employer question your commitment to the workplace? After all, you apparently left one job to start your own company. Will it happen again?
Obviously, you have a lot of work to do to answer these questions and provide the assurances needed to motivate any employer to give you a chance.
Small Business Owners Returning to the Workplace: Resume Tips
The following tips can help small business owners returning to the workplace craft an outstanding resume.
Choose the Right Format
Be sure to choose a format that is appropriate for the job requirements, and capable of highlighting your skills and achievements. If it’s been awhile since you’ve worked for someone else, a functional resume may be an ideal way to accomplish those goals. That can help to focus attention on your competencies and value, while minimizing your employment history.
Pick the Right Title
Instead of referring to yourself as a business owner, you could emphasize the role you had within the company.
For example, if you are applying for a position as a marketing director, you can reasonably claim to have filled that role within your own company. Don’t lie, of course. Just don’t be afraid to give yourself the right title to fit your job-seeking needs. If you filled that role in your own company, then the title fits.
You should also match the title of your resume to the job you’re seeking.
Use a Summary Statement
Don’t forget to use a summary statement on your resume that details the value you can offer. Small business owners returning to the workplace often neglect the summary, since they’re not accustomed to focusing on other companies’ needs. A compelling summary statement can capture an employer’s attention and get them asking that all-important question: “Can I afford not to hire this superstar?”
Experienced construction company project manager with excellent customer management, resource allocation, budgeting, and quality control skills. 8+ years of experience with commercial and residential projects, leading a team of as many as eight workers, with a 92% on-budget, on-time track record of success.
Focus on Your Core Skills
For small business owners returning to the workplace, skills are the biggest selling point. Chances are that you fulfilled many roles in your own company, from marketing and operational planning to customer service, leader, and manager.
Focus on the skills you used to manage your own business and cite examples of how those skills benefited the company.
Inducing relevant hard skills on your resume also helps you get past ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) over 90% of employers use. Those which don’t meet the qualifications are rejected by the software and the resume is never seen by a human.
Don’t be Afraid to Cite Your Business Accomplishments
If you don’t sing your praises, who will? Trumpet your achievements, with real numbers that demonstrate value. Employers need to hear about your accomplishments so that they can imagine how you might benefit their companies.
Clean Up Your Social Media
If you have a LinkedIn page, you may want to clean it up and remove entries that focus on your business ownership. If you have a title that reflects that business ownership, consider changing it. In other words, update everything that might pose an obstacle to your efforts to get a job. While you’re at it, remove anything controversial as well.
Emphasize Your Desire to Work within an Organization
Finally, use a cover letter to wrap up your resume’s highlights and drive home one simple message: you want the challenge of working in a company environment. You need to stress your desire to enjoy the camaraderie and shared feeling of accomplishment that comes from team collaboration. Remember, small business owners returning to the workplace cannot hide their previous business ownership. You can, however, emphasize the lessons and skills learned during that period in your life, while minimizing the fact that you once wanted to be your own boss.
Former Business Owner Resume Sample
It can be helpful to use self-employed resume examples as a template for your own resume.
Small business owners returning to the workplace can use the following sample resume as a guide to help them create a resume that works. With some modifications to meet your individual needs and circumstances, this resume example can help you to overcome these challenges and land the job you need.
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